According to Wikipedia, The Cantonese phrase Dim Sum literally means “Touch the Heart,” or “Order to Your Heart’s Content,” and that we did.🙂
We were invited to join the Chiens for Dim Sum at the Dynasty Seafood restaurant in Cupertino, CA. Our daughter Michelle and husband Kyle met us there. When we first entered the restaurant I was amazed by the size of the main dining room. I felt like we were on a luxury cruise ship. It had a vaulted a ceiling with bright lights, and there was excitement in the air. Everybody seemed to be having fun. We were escorted to a smaller, quieter room off the main dining area.
I was first introduced to Dim Sum many years ago by Yusan, a friend from yoga who used to host a talk show in Hong Kong. It is a style of Cantonese food that that has grown very popular among Westerners over the years. It is best eaten with a group which allows the opportunity to sample a lot more food. More importantly it doesn’t hurt to have people with you who know a thing or two about ordering. Personally, I found myself intimidated by the many choices of dumplings, meats, noodles, rice, tofu, veggies, chicken, pork, seafood and other exotic dishes to choose from. But, between Al, his mom Dana, and his dad Jack, we had it covered. Instead of ordering from a traditional menu—which is available, our hosts chose an assortment of flavorful, sweet and savory dishes from push carts rolled to the table by our food servers. They were then placed on a large "Lazy Susan," at the center of a the white table-colthed table. One of our favorites recommended by Kyle’s mom, Kim were the authentic Sesame seed balls that were stuffed with sweet red bean filling. Very tasty.
The origin of Dim Sum began over 2500 years ago as charming little teahouses to accommodate weary travelers along the Silk Road, an ancient shipping route that Cecile and I had the opportunity to tour during our three week trip to China some years back. As it became known that tea was a digestive aid that also cleanses the palette, tea house owners began adding small snacks. This was the birth of dim sum.
Though dim sum has changed over thousands of years from a roadside tea stop to a full-on culinary culinary event, the spirit remains the same: Enjoying food surrounded by the people you love and care about.